Spotify accuses Apple of abusing its power over the App Store

Spotify accuses Apple of abusing its power over the App Store

Spotify has filed a complaint with European regulators over Apple's "unfair" app store practices, including the 30% commission that Apple pockets with every app purchase.

The company takes issue with how Apple acts as a gatekeeper to the internet by controlling important platforms such as its iOS mobile operating system and the App Store, while also competing against services like Spotify with its Apple Music service. In the US, Spotify covers these costs by charging people $12.99 per month for subscriptions completed via the App Store; it's $9.99 if you subscribe directly via Spotify's website and then sign in via the iOS app.

Apple prohibits developers who don't use IAP from promoting paid offerings such as subscriptions inside their apps.

"If we pay this tax, it would force us to artificially inflate the price of our Premium membership well above the price of Apple Music", Ek argues.

Spotify is one of the many giant technology companies to speak out against Apple but according to TechCrunch is the first to file a formal complaint over how Apple treats its developers.

Spotify is not only filing a complaint, as the company also posted a short video, revealing how Apple has been unfair and limiting the music streaming service.

A spokesman for the European Commission said that it had received a complaint from Spotify and is assessing it under standard procedures.

Spotify is hoping an Anti-Competition motion they're petitioned for in Europe will prevent Apple from skewing the lines of fair play.

Ek points to the revenue share that Apple demands for services that charge customers via apps distributed through the App Store, unofficially known as the "Apple tax".

The 30% cut Ek's referring to is commonly known as "Apple tax", and Apple has been sued over it before. Spotify has provided an entire timeline of the events, going all the way back to 2010 when Apple started changing the guidelines for its App Store. These apart, EK said Apple also limits updates that would have made for a better user experience, which again puts Spotify in poorer light compared to Apple's own music streaming service.

All Spotify wants, says its founder, is to be treated the same as apps that don't pay the 30% tax such as Uber or Deliveroo. "After trying unsuccessfully to resolve the issues directly with Apple, we're now requesting that the European commission take action to ensure fair competition". Ek believes "we should all be subject to the same fair set of rules and restrictions" - including Apple Music. He adds that all App Store users should have a choice of payment systems, and not be locked into using Apple's platform.

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